5 Don’ts of LinkedIn – 5 Things to avoid on LinkedIn

by Maximilian Claessens
1.1k views 3 minutes read

The 5 Don’ts of LinkedIn – What should you better avoid to present yourself professionally on LinkedIn?

How exciting! You’ve just received an invitation for a job interview. And as you work hard to prepare for it, what do you think the HR staff is doing?

They’re researching you, of course. And chances are high that the first place they’ll go to learn more about your background, experience and personality is LinkedIn.

What are they going to find when they pull up your profile? An amateurish photo? Outdated information? Unpopular political views? A lack of references? We show you the 5 Don’ts of LinkedIn, to avoid this unfavourable situation.

In business, it’s vital to focus on developing a quality LinkedIn profile and avoid making a poor first impression. And the first impression always counts, right? Here are five ways to ensure you don’t embarrass yourself on this fast-growing and powerful platform: the 5 Don’ts of LinkedIn.

  1. Stop using unprofessional photos – the 5 Don’ts of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is not Facebook, Instagram or any typical social network. It’s a place to show your professional side, and that starts with your photo. The first sin of the 5 Don’ts of LinkedIn is the most obvious one: A picture of you slamming beers should better not be there; neither a family reunion. You want a clean, professional headshot with a white or neutral background. If you don’t already have one, hire a professional photographer.

  1. Stop forgetting to update your profile – the 5 Don’ts of LinkedIn

If a potential employer looks you up on LinkedIn to find that your profile still says you go to high school although you claim to have years of work experience, you’ve just made a poor first impression. Your profile is a living, real-time résumé that should be updated on a regular basis to reflect the current reality. It should also be consistent with your other public bios — especially the one on your company’s website. Always make sure to note every time you switch companies, earn a new job title or win major recognition.

  1. Stop posting inappropriate updates – the 5 Don’ts of LinkedIn

Your passionate opinion about this week’s episode of The Bachelor may be appropriate for Facebook or Twitter, but it has absolutely no place on LinkedIn (unless you happen to be an entertainment journalist). Avoid posting personal or political opinions that could turn off potential employers. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be yourself on LinkedIn; just be your professional self. Here’s the rule: If you wouldn’t say it in an office meeting, it definitely doesn’t belong on LinkedIn.

  1. Stop being a narcissist – the 5 Don’ts of LinkedIn

Have you ever been at a dinner party with a person who can’t stop talking about himself? Don’t be that person. Too many people on LinkedIn are self-promotional peacocks. They post constant streams of updates and group comments that promote their company, their products, an upcoming event or an article they just wrote. No one wants to connect with someone who blatantly self-promotes all the time. And employers don’t want to hire people who seem to always put themselves before the team.

Instead, be genuine and constructive. Always think about how you can add value to your connections and your industry. Try linking to quotes and articles that represent your values and your brand. You can even repurpose content from other leaders who inspire you.

  1. Stop neglecting LinkedIn – the 5 Don’ts of LinkedIn

The last one of the 5 Don’ts of LinkedIn: Stop neglecting it! LinkedIn isn’t just for job seekers; it’s a nearly limitless network of successfully employed individuals, and it’s a venue where you can establish yourself as a thought leader in your field.

Try to post one quote or image every week that reflects your personal and professional values. Regular and relevant quality updates will contribute strongly to your job applications.

It’s time to start treating LinkedIn like the incredibly powerful platform it is. Your profile should make you look like a polished, professional, well-rounded and well-connected expert.

So make sure you avoid these 5 Don’ts of LinkedIn – and leave a professional impression!

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